Ngāti Toa Rangatira has named 15 of the 25 structures of the new Transmission Gully motorway, including its largest structure the bridge over Cannons Creek.
Ngāti Toa Rangatira kaumātua Tā Matiu Rei says the names gifted by the iwi were chosen to recognise many of the original place names that were changed during colonial settlement.
"Ngāti Toa Rangatira has a deep and rich history in the Porirua and wider Wellington rohe, and naming some of the key structures on Transmission Gully is one small way of increasing awareness and knowledge of our history," Rei says in a Transmission Gully Project statement.
"As the largest structure, the name we have given to the bridge over Cannons Creek is Te Ara a Toa, which when translated means the Pathway of Toa."
Rei says the name reinforces Ngāti Toa as mana whenua for the area and across the entire Transmission Gully motorway.
As well as naming some of the key structures, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira has provided input into the project to ensure the needs and expectations of Ngāti Toa are met.
"We have been involved from the outset of the project and have, where possible, worked hard to influence decisions around cultural and environmental mitigation," Dr Taku Parai, board chair of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira, says in the statement.
"All in all, it has been a successful working relationship with the project and we are pleased to have another opportunity to assert our presence as mana whenua."
Ngāti Toa Rangatira is currently planning celebrations to mark 200 years since their migration from Kāwhia to Porirua under the leadership of their ancestor and rangatira Te Rauparaha.
"The opening of Transmission Gully in 2021 and the use of our names on the key structures will not only add another dimension to our 200-year history in Porirua, but further mark our presence for generations to come," Parai said.
The names of the structures (from north to south) on the Transmission Gully motorway are as follows:
Bridge 2. Paekākāriki, Bridge 3. Te Puka, Bridge 4. Horokiri ki Raro, Bridge 6. Horokiri, Bridge 8. Horokiri ki Runga, Bridge 13. Mātai Taua, Bridge 15. Pāuatahanui, Bridge 16. Waitangirua, Bridge 19. Wai o Hata, Bridge 20. Te Ara a Toa, Bridge 24. Kenepuru tua tahi, Bridge 25. Tawa, Bridge 26. Raroa, Bridge 27. Kenepuru tua rua and Bridge 28. Kenepuru tua toru.
- Māori Television